Mobile device maker Datawind today said it plans to start offering telecom service before Diwali this year. We are already in discussions with key network operators and intend to file our application for a VNO licence shortly, with a target launch date before Diwali, Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO and Founder of DataWind said in a statement. The Telecom Department on Friday released licence guidelines for virtual network operators (VNO), opening the door for a new class of players which will act like retailers for telecom service providers. Also Read - Indian tablet market declined 10% in Q1 2018, Lenovo leadsAlso Read - Budget 2018: Here is what the tech sector and startups are expecting from Government of India
The VNOs will be entities providing telecom services like mobile landline and internet but only as retailer for full-fledged telecom operators such as BSNL, MTNL and Airtel etc. The entry of VNOs is expected to push down cost of providing telecom services for companies and even give them room for cutting down tariffs. Also Read - Samsung expects India's tablet market to revive this year
The virtual network operators are treated as extension of Network Service Operator or Telecom Service Providers and they would not be allowed to install equipment interconnecting with network of other telecom operators. Datawind s motto is to bridge the digital divide, and we intend to utilise our patented web delivery platform to help deliver affordable Internet access to bring the next billion Indians online, Tuli said.
As per the guidelines, VNOs will be able to offer all telecom services provided by a telecom operator and will have to pay the fee to the government accordingly, with which it has partnered and will be able to sell services of more than one operator.